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Patt's Hats: Serpentine jewelry never goes out of style

Patt Morrison snake bracelet

Michelle Lanz/KPCC

Patt Morrison's snake bracelet.

The snake-bracelet motif has been popular for thousands of years — here’s an Egyptian-Roman one at the Getty

They’ve been identified with the exotic and the erotic, just check out the original screen vamp, Theda Bara, in this get-up. [Her marquee name was rumored to have been crafted as an anagram of ‘’Arab Death.’’ [Her real name was Theodosia Burr Goodman and she was a nice Jewish girl from Cincinnati.] She took snake jewelry even further – to a snake brassiere.

Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII of Great Britain and the great-grandmother to the present Queen, was fond of her snake bracelet and wore it often, and the ouroboros, the symbol of the serpent eating its tail, represents the cyclical nature of life.

Mine is more mundane than that: a Taxco Mexican silver and enamel bracelet, probably from that big postwar surge in Mexican silver artistry. The underside of the snake head is just as detailed, with scales and mottles; I wish I could wear it underside out!


Patt's Hats: Oct 4th, 2012

Patt  Morrison Outfit

Michelle Lanz/KPCC

Patt's outfit for Oct 4, 2012.

These frilled Peter Jensen shoes [another resale find] have a fabulist, Louis XIV quality — they made me think of what the Sun King’s courtiers at Versailles would be wearing on their feet as they tripped along the parquets in the Hall of Mirrors with their snuffboxes and wigs!

The coat-dress is oyster silk and vintage, although of what vintage, I don’t know. But …I'm wearing it inside out! Sometimes the linings of vintage garments are more splendid than the garments themselves, so I will turn them inside out, switch the fasteners, and voila! This is an abstract print that reminds me of fountain pens, and in that grey and mustard color combo I really admire for its subtlety.

The necklace, I was told when I got it, is German art Deco, probably 1930s, a creamy translucent plastic plaque with channel-set rhinestones.